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Operant Conditioning - closed controlled unit This prevents...

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Operant Conditioning Operant conditioning can be defined as a type of learning in which voluntary (controllable; non-reflexive) behavior is strengthened if it is reinforced and weakened if it is punished (or not reinforced) . Note: Skinner referred to this as Instrumental Conditioning/Learning A. The most prominent figure in the development and study of Operant Conditioning was B. F. Skinner 1. History: a) As an Undergraduate he was an English major, then decided to study Psychology in graduate school. b) Early in his career he believed much of behavior could be studied in a single, controlled environment (created Skinner box - address later). Instead of observing behavior in the natural world, he attempted to study behavior in a
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Unformatted text preview: closed, controlled unit. This prevents any factors not under study from interfering with the study - as a result, Skinner could truly study behavior and specific factors that influence behavior. c) during the "cognitive revolution" that swept Psychology (discussed later), Skinner stuck to the position that behavior was not guided by inner force or cognition. This made him a "radical behaviorist". d) as his theories of Operant Conditioning developed, Skinner became passionate about social issues, such as free will, how they developed, why they developed, how they were propagated, etc....
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